Tuesday, April 24, 2012

First Chapter Review: The Kensei by Jon F. Merz



This is where my book reviewing world started to get messy. I agreed to review this book and it arrived a few months later. It's now been in my TBR Pile since January of last year, nagging at me with, "This guy was kind enough to send you his book. Why haven't you read it yet?"

Simple answer: I let myself over commit. I swore I wouldn't, but I did. I'm human. I also have over 300 FREE books on my Kindle right now. Someone please stop me.  LOL!

I am keeping a light schedule this summer so I can try to plod through my pile. Keep your fingers crossed.

TITLE/AUTHOR:  The Kensei by Jon F. Merz

BLURB:  Meet Lawson. A cynical, wise-cracking vampire charged with protecting the Balance between vampires and humans, he is part cop, part spy, and part commando -- James Bond with fangs. Lawson mixes shrewd cunning with unmatched lethality to get his job done. He tries his best to dismantle conspiracies, dispatch bad guys, and live long enough to get home. In The Kensei, a battle-weary Lawson heads to Japan for a little rest and some advanced ninja training. But he no sooner steps off the plane than lands in the midst of a Yakuza turf war orchestrated by a shadowy figure known as the Kensei. With the help of Talya, a former KGB-assassin, Lawson must put a stop to the Kensei’s organ trafficking networks, prevent the creation of an army of vampire-human hybrids, and save his own skin in the process.

COVER: Fabulous! Lawson, a vampire dressed in black (no shockers) with a gun in one hand and a sword in the other, blood splatters dotting the forefront. In the background, a busy city--where one would expect a man such as Lawson to be.

FIRST CHAPTER: Lawson has just arrived in Japan for some much needed R and R. Soon after arriving, however, that thought is thrown from his mind when he notices a killer in his train car. A fight ensues, and Lawson knows his vacation is bound to take a turn for the worse.

KEEP READING:  Definitely. While I don't read a lot of vampire novels, Lawson reminds me a lot of my favorite vamp, Angel. Charged with protecting the Balance between vampires and humans, Lawson is a smart guy full of attitude. His language is rough and he doesn't take any crap. All the poor guy wants is a well-earned vacation, and now this killer has screwed it up.

I didn't know this book was part of a series, so it will be interesting to see how much back story the author works in as I continue. What I feel Merz does well is not only paint a fabulous picture of who Lawson is, he provides the right amount of setting detail so the reader can see Japan through his eyes. The only thing I didn't like is the number of words I had no idea how to pronounce. I know nothing of Japanese culture or martial arts, so I stumbled over many words in the first chapter. There's a glossary in the back so the reader can learn what the words mean, even though some of them are explained during the story. I just wish I knew what I was saying because I often read aloud.


  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Original edition (January 18, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0312662238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312662233
  • SRP:  $14.99

  • I received a free paperback of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation of any kind for this review. I more complete review will follow in the future.

    1 comment:

    Patty Woodland said...

    Don't you hate when your TBR pile threatens to bury you like an avalanche so that you won't be seen again for a millennium?